Pint-sized pets swamp local shelters | Local News

Only wicked pet

SALEM — In the pet world, dogs and cats are on top.  But this weekend Northeast Animal Shelter and the MSPCA-Angell want people to think small. After all, there are other pets that are warm and fuzzy, or who can do neat tricks.  On Saturday and Sunday, the shelter will […]

SALEM — In the pet world, dogs and cats are on top. 

But this weekend Northeast Animal Shelter and the MSPCA-Angell want people to think small. After all, there are other pets that are warm and fuzzy, or who can do neat tricks. 

On Saturday and Sunday, the shelter will hold an “adoptathon” event by waiving the adoption fee for all small pets, from mice and gerbils to hamsters, guinea pigs and rabbits and even birds. 

Why? 

Mike Keiley, director of adoption centers and programs at the MSPCA-Angell, and interim executive director at Northeast Animal Shelter, said the shelters have seen a 66% increase in surrenders of guinea pigs and rabbits in the past year.

Simply put, there are now nearly 200 small critters taking space at the shelters.

And small pets are often a great solution for families returning to work or school.

“Many people we talk to don’t realize we work to find homes for more than just dogs and cats,” Keiley said in a press release. “Rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and birds make wonderful pets — and we hope families looking to adopt will take advantage of this fee-waived pet adoption weekend,” said Keiley.

The small pets don’t require walks, though they do need to be cared for with feeding, cage cleaning and some playtime and exercise.

The normal adoption fees range from $10 for hamsters, mice, gerbils and small birds like finches to $35 for guinea pigs, $85 for rabbits and $150 for a parrot. 

He also said the shelters is willing to consider requests to foster small animals as well. 

Adoption appointments can be booked in advance at mspca.org/smalls and neas.org/smalls.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis. 

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